I’ve decided to present my own Idiot of the Year Award for the year. The criteria simply is to be the person who comes up with, encourages, and initiates the stupidest idea of the year. Now, I know what you’re saying: Steph, it’s ONLY March, for goodness sake. Don’t you think you should wait until at least October??

Nope. I’ve found the winner, and I’m sticking to it.

And the award for Idiot of the Year goes to…..((drum roll))…..”Dr” P Gorman of CMS Schools!!!   ((cue applause…or boos <booze??>))

Yes, good people, the “good” “Dr” wins for talking his underlings into creating 52….that’s 5 – 2 ….NEW tests this year so he can start telling the community who are “good” teachers and who are “bad” teachers. ((CMS Testing Ramps Up)). Seriously?? Students in kindergarten will be tested in one-on-one situations, but there has to be a proctor so the teacher doesn’t cheat–you know, try to make herself (himself ?) look better..you know, so she/he won’t get fired?

I’m POSITIVE it’s going to work! I’m POSITIVE that this system will get rid of all the mean old grouchy bad teachers who keep trying to teach the kids of CMS and who keep collecting our tax dollars in the form of a paycheck!! I’m POSITIVE that there is NOTHING that can be construed as incompetence or financial mismanagement …NOTHING.

But now I’m wondering if “Dr” G has put himself and his staff on a standardized test…you know, to see how “effective” he is…? No? You don’t believe he has? Well…let’s create one. I mean, we could probably create a test for him as valid and reliable as I’m POSITIVE his tests are for the teachers students (sorry…I’m seriously trying to be a good person…)  **Full Disclosure: I do NOT work for this district**

So…here are my thoughts for an Effectiveness Test for Superintendents-Who-Think-They-Are-Better-Than-The-People-Who-Work-For-Him….

1. The last time I had to differentiate a lesson for a student who was sick but couldn’t afford to go to the doctor, the student who was apathetic because she just found out she’s pregnant, the student who tries hard every single day, and the student who’s starving was: A) yesterday; B) last week; C) NEVER

2. When I take a call from a parent who’s mad about the bad grade their Johnny-angel made on the last test, I: A) listen patiently to his/her concerns and try to find a solution; B) tell the teacher to change the grade, so the parent is happy; C) tell my secretary to take a message

3. My classroom experience consists mainly of: A) five years as the elementary or high school PE coach; B) three years of AP History; C) I read about classroom experience in one of my college textbooks.

4. A math question: Two teachers, each with 20 or more years experience, PLUS two teachers with 2 years experience divided by $1.9 million testing budget =   A) people who should be in the Reduction in Force pool; B) what’s left for the “good” teachers who will get paid; C) an entire community of stakeholders who are planning to picket outside the superintendents’ office.

5. The most effective way for a teacher to deliver instruction is: A) there is NO ONE method; B) prepare them for tests; C) administer tests

6. In a pinch, if I need to hire a teacher, I’d prefer: A) a veteran with a Masters degree or National Board Certification in the teaching area; B) a newly graduated teacher; C) a Teach for America participant with no experience in the teaching area or with working with kids

7. I see teachers as: A) important people who not only teach content, but who build relationships with kids; B) adversaries; C) underlings who should be seen and not heard

8. When I want to push through a new program, I should: A) make a lot of promises I know I can’t keep; B) behave like an impetuous child, shaking my finger at the camera because they don’t agree with me; C) talk some slimeball sympathetic politician into pushing my program through the legislature late at night so no one notices

9. One important way students learn is: A) taking away arts programs; B) multiple choice tests in every single class they take; C) requiring them to re-test when they fail, then fire their teacher who’s ineffective

10. A book that every high school student should read is: A) Harry Potter & the Order of the Phoenix, staring Deloris Umbridge; B) 1984, since Thoughtcrime does not entail death: thoughtcrime is death; C) Animal Farm because ALL ANIMALS ARE EQUAL, BUT SOME ARE MORE EQUAL THAN OTHERS

11. I model lifelong learning for teachers and students by: A) reading the LifeStyles section of the newspaper; B) tweeting my latest brain fart; C) quoting Donald Trumps’ The Art of the Deal word for word at every faculty  meeting

12. To improve student achievement for those in poverty, I should: A) bring in Eric Jensen for faculty training on Teaching with Poverty in Mind; B) let them watch Freedom Writers for inspiration; C) give them a multiple choice test and fire their teacher when they fail

13. To maximize scarce resources in budget shortfalls, it would be helpful to: A) hold town-hall-like meetings for elementary, middle, and high schools, in order to hear from everyone what’s working and what can be combined or stopped; B) build a network of micromanagers who work on the “telephone game” premise; C) fire teachers and write more test questions

STOP: You have now completed the testing session. Thank you for your cooperation!

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